Big 5 Game Drive – A Unique African Travel Experience
Africa is a place which offers plenty of amazing experiences and a history of rich and diverse culture. Amongst the many adventures, one the most famous is the Big 5 safari. Game reserves abound across Africa and many of them proudly provide a home for the Big 5.
Bumping across a tract of raw land, an African safari will lead to exhilarating encounters with wild animals in their natural habitat. Big 5 game reserves beckon visitors with the call of the wild and the luxury of the best comfort. Wildlife is an innate part of many African countries, which serves to define it on many levels. There are countless species to be discovered in the African bush. The elegant cheetah, the fat hippo, the gangly giraffe and the mischievous meerkats are but a few examples. Some of the most famous species are those that comprise the Big 5.
Discover the Big 5 on an African Game Reserve
The term was originally coined to denote the five animals that were the most challenging to hunt. The meaning has been adapted to the five most sought after animals to spot on safari. The mighty “king of the jungle”, the lion, is one of these members. Lions are generally nocturnal, but can often be spotted lazing around in the shade of trees during the day.
African buffalo are usually seen in herds, with the young calves prancing between the legs of the elders as they are protected from harm. These creatures seem gentle and calm, but are in fact extremely volatile and dangerous. The leopard is a sneaky and illusive animal, sticking close to the mountains, living alone and prowling about at night. The gargantuan elephants are gentle giants, but can also get extremely hot and bothered if they are rubbed the wrong way and in the wild their size is immunity against predators.
Big 5 Conservation – Making a Difference in Africa
This big advantage, sadly, does not protect them from humans. Due to the demand for ivory the elephant is at risk and thousands are poached every year for their tusks. The rhino, the final Big 5 member, has an equally sad tale, as they are notoriously poached for their horns which many in Far Eastern countries believe to have medicinal value. Game reserves place a heavy emphasis on conservation as these locations sometimes become the last resort for the wild animals of Africa. All the members of the Big 5, in addition to many other animals, are listed as vulnerable, threatened or endangered.
The lion, buffalo, leopard, elephant and rhino thus make up the celebrated Big 5. Each is magnificent and special in its own way and encountering any of these animals is a breathtaking experience. When you hear the word Africa, the Big 5 are one of the first things to come to mind. They rank so highly in many countries that their images can even be found on the back of the currency of many nations. The Big 5 safari is a must on the list of things to do when visiting parts of Africa, enabling you to connect with nature and an indelible part of the continent.